The announcement that New York State will receive about $700 million as a winner in the federal “Race to the Top” competition means public school districts throughout St. Lawrence County will see increased funding, according to state Sen. Darrel Aubertine’s office.
Aubertine said, “This funding could not come at a better time considering the difficult decisions made to close a $9 billion budget gap. Add that to the $600 million from the federal government’s jobs bill and we are looking at significant restorations for our schools.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate and House passed legislation that will provide $2.5 billion in federal funding for New York, including $600 million for public schools. That funding, based on current school aid formulas, would bring $4.4 million for St. Lawrence County schools, according to news reports. The $696.65 million in “Race to the Top” funding would be divided in half and distributed according to aid formulas over a 4-year cycle with the other half being distributed in additional grants.
In the first round of Race to the Top funding awards in March, New York finished out of the running because it did not meet requirements in the federal program. Aubertine says he worked with his colleagues to pass legislation that raised the cap on the number of charter schools, met national standards and installed comprehensive tracking of educational outcomes in New York State to improve the state’s chances of obtaining this funding, almost all of which will go toward public education